Dr. Alison Williams is a professor in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University. A health geographer by training, Dr. Williams currently leads a multi-year Canadian Institute for Health Research/Social Science Humanities Health Research (CIHR)/SSHRC Healthy Productive Work Partnership Grant. Through the Partnership Grant the work of academic researchers, business and non-profit leaders is helping employers to adopt the CSA Carer-Inclusive and Accommodating Organizations Standard. In doing so, workplaces have the potential to enhance work-life balance, retention, autonomy and reduce health insurance costs.
A strong advocate for policy and practice improvements at the national, provincial, and local levels, Dr. William’s work also informs international carer-friendly workplace policies. Her insights, skills, and knowledge lead to strong collaborative partnerships with organizations representing caregiver advocacy, health services, and labour.
Between 2013 and 2019, Dr. Williams was a funded CIHR Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health. In 2008, Dr. Williams received a five-year OWHC/CIHR IGH Mid-Career Scientist Award in Women’s Health for her research program, which addressed the health of unpaid carers. She received a CIHR New Investigator Award (2001–2006) for research addressing population health, specifically the environment and health.
Dr. Williams was the nominated principal investigator of a CIHR ICE (Interdisciplinary Capacity Engagement) Grant (2006–2011), where she led a team of 30 investigators from academic institutions across the country. During this project, 20+ research trainees received interdisciplinary supervision, 60+ peer-reviewed publications were written, and 100+ presentations were given across Canada and beyond.
Dr. Williams received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, an MA from the University of Toronto, and her Ph.D. from York University.